After months of waiting, people can now enjoy the newly opened Kopurererua Valley Reserve cycling and walking path and the Matarawa Pā Bridge over SH36.
The NZ Transport Agency and Tauranga City Council announced today the opening of the two transport projects in a written statement.
In a written statement, NZTA said Ngāi Tamarawaho hapu, who have worked together with Tauranga City Council on these multi-modal projects, blessed the track and the overbridge yesterday , followed by official opening ceremonies.
NZ Transport Agency acting director of regional relationships, Ross I'Anson, said he was looking forward to seeing the track, which linked The Lakes, Tauranga Crossing and the city centre, getting a lot of use.
"With the approximately 258 hectares, Kopurererua Valley Reserve, or K Valley, is Tauranga's largest reserves and is absolutely stunning with a variety of different experiences, from farmland to native bushland and ponds."
Tauranga City Council's acting manager of transportation, Phil Consedine, said high-quality cycling and walking facilities were important for Tauranga.
"We are proud of these projects and will continue to work in close collaboration with the NZ Transport Agency to give people safe, attractive and easy transport choices across the city."
Tauranga City Council finished the upgrade of Kopurererua Valley's 6km long track at the end of May and in mid-June, the Matarawa Pā Bridge was also completed.
The name of the overbridge, connecting to the south end of the Kopurererua Valley track, remained secret until the opening.
It refers to the Matarawa Pā that once stood on the hill at the end of Taurikura Drive, overlooking the awa (river).
Te Kōpurererua River, the remnant of the papakāinga (settlement) site fell victim to Tauranga's growth and to the earth moving machines that removed the hill as part of the extension of the industrial estate that exists in its place today.
The name "Matarawa Pā Bridge" is dedicated to this memory and acknowledges the historical significance of the area for Ngāi Tamarawaho.
The upgrade of the Kopurererua Valley track cost $600,000, with 51 per cent funding from the NZ Transport Agency coming from the Government's $390 million programme to make it easier for Kiwis to walk and cycle around New Zealand.
The contract for the overbridge was awarded to Fulton Hogan for about $4.2 million - with 51 per cent funding from the NZ Transport Agency and the remainder from developer contributions.